Summary on the round-table discussions on Peace Support Operations (PSO) in Africa

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1. The African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism was invited by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation (FES) to a roundtable that took place in Addis-Ababa on 21 March 2017 at Hilton Hotel from 09.00 to 13.00

2. The roundtable gathered about 30 Experts from various Institutes and Research Centres, as well as the Peace and Security Department of the African Union and representatives of international, regional organizations, diplomatic missions based in the city and other stakeholders in Africa.
3. The roundtable aimed to contribute to a frank exchange of ideas on the future of PSOs and how the existing challenges could be best addressed.
4. It consisted in the discussions around the findings of the report «Towards an Equitable Partnership in Peace Operations” that was issued in February 2017, following the second phase of the New Geopolitics of Peace Operations Initiative, a research project held by the FES and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
5. The roundtable stated the following :
i. Africa, being the territory where most of the PSOs are currently carried out should focus the researches to understand the context of emerging threats for new developments and approaches in them. It is therefore indispensable to accurately Perceive the future of peace operations on the continent in order to help to outline pathways to improve future collaboration between African and external actors and to strengthen their mutual understanding.
ii. Conflict prevention, economic development, state capacity and good governance are keys to put in place sustainable response to conflicts. They should be unconditionally supported and strengthened in order to prevent the escalation in the future of security challenges that are likely to become more and more non-traditional and transnational. It becomes therefore indispensable to reshape the conception of PSOs to strengthen their multidimensional and civilian character, often with transnational and regional mandates
iii. The contribution of African countries currently consisting mainly in providing troops should be value-added by their greater financial commitments and other forms of participation that would guarantee the autonomy and ownership of all the process by the AU and the RECs. It is also indispensable to diversify the African countries contributing to PSOs.
iv. The report also stresses on the need to achieve and operationalize the concept of subsidiarity between the UN, AU and RECS, as well as to come with a common integrated strategy that includes local civil society actors in strategic multi-stakeholder decision-making processes.
v. The need for a truly balanced and equitable global-regional partnership based on the prioritization of local population (the end users of peace), the increase of the African lead role, the mutual respect, as well as the strengthening of accountability for the assistance received and the actions taken by peace operations and international community.
9. The next step of the project will consist of the study of the specific response to the emerging threats, mainly terrorism, insurgency, piracy, illegal migration and other types of transnational organized crime.